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The Galpin Society

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Meeting organised by the Edinburgh University Collection of Historic Musical Instruments with the Galpin Society

9-11 July 1999

Abstracts of Papers

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Full length papers


The Fydill In Fist: Stringed Instruments from the Mary Rose

Mary Anne Alburger,
Elphinstone Institute, University of Aberdeen, U.K.

The main purpose of this paper is to make available, for the first time, the most recent discoveries concerning the fiddles found on the Mary Rose, Henry VIII's flagship, which sank off Portsmouth in 1545. After an introduction to the Mary Rose Trust's archeological work and methods, the artifacts will be discussed as they relate to other known chordophones of the period. The fiddles will be illustrated, described, and considered in their social context, before the paper concludes with speculations on practical details of possible reconstructions.


The Relation between Instruments and Music in Portugal in the Eighteenth Century

Patrícia Lopes Bastos,
University of Birmingham, U.K.

Portugal has for many years been overlooked in what concerns its instruments and music. This presentation gives a synopsis of the keyboard music existing in the eighteenth century in Portugal, relating it to the instruments available. The major focus will be given to the pianoforte. The close cultural relationship between Portugal and Italy allowed the Portuguese to have access to the first pianofortes made in the world. The characteristics of these instruments matched the expressiveness of Portuguese music and culture. Other instruments already in use also had singular properties that inspired the musicians to make works of a distinctive Lusitan or Iberian flavour. This presentation is illustrated by the use of recordings of historical instruments and colourful projections.


Two More Recorders for the Music of Van Eyck

Ture Bergstrøm,
Musikhistorisk Museum in Copenhagen, Denmark

Recorders from 17th century are often labelled `transitional' instruments, representing a link between Renaissance consort instruments and Baroque solo instruments. Typical for the period are soprano instruments, with a pitch ranging from about modern c" to e", with a narrow, slightly conical bore; most of these are very thin-walled ivory instruments with a compass of two octaves and a second. A survey is given of the relatively few surviving recorders from the 17th century.

Two recently discovered instruments from Denmark and Scotland will be presented in detail and the findings will be compared with some of the previously known instruments of the period. The details discussed are outer shape, bore profile, finger holes, tuning, fingering, and musical properties.


Dutch Baroque Traversos

Jan Bouterse,
Alphen a/d Rijn, Netherlands

Of the first generation of Dutch baroque woodwind makers only two traversos are preserved, by Haka and Van Aardenberg. After 1720 a rather uniform type of Dutch traverso became populair, most of the instruments in boxwood (but also in ebony or ivory) and with a relative wide bore, a small and round mouthhole, widely undercut toneholes and relative long lower joints. In fact, these traversos of Borkens, Eerens, Van Heerde, Wijne (etc.) are much more similar than the oboes and recorders by the same makers.

Several instruments have (usually three) corps de rechange. The pitch of the traverso varies between A = 405 Hz and A = 415 Hz, played with the longest (or with the only) corps.

Three flûtes d'amour did survive, by Haka, Van Heerde and Hemsing, instruments with different designs and pitches. Two bass recorders by J. Beuker are late 18th century, showing only few resemblances with the earlier shorter instruments. The question is: what kind of music was played on these Dutch traversos?


The Diatonically Fretted Clavichord before 1722

Maria Boxall,
Fig Tree House Musick, Wiveliscombe, Somerset, U.K.

During the earlier years of the modern clavichord revival, attention was focused almost exclusively on the study of fret-free clavichords. More recently there has been a growing and enthusiastic interest in the musical possibilities of the diatonically fretted instruments which were made in Germany from the 1720s onwards, most particularly those by Hubert. There is, however, considerable evidence that diatonically fretted instruments were already well known by the end of the 17th century, and furthermore it appears that the evolution of the diatonic fretting system may be traced back to the 15th century and before. The existence of diatonically fretted instruments during the 17th and early 18th centuries must be recognised in any speculation as to which keyboard works are `suitable' for the clavichord.


Underlying Causes of Serpent Behaviour and Misbehaviour

Murray Campbell,
University of Edinburgh, U.K.

[abstract to follow]


St Cecilia's Hall: its Musicians and Musical Instruments in the Eighteenth Century

John Cranmer,
University College Northampton, U.K.

The importance of St Cecilia's Hall and the Edinburgh Musical Society in the cultural life of Edinburgh, Scotland and Britain during the second half of the 18th century is frequently underestimated in historical accounts of the period. Drawn from archival sources, this paper assesses the significance of the musical activities which flourished within Robert Mylne's elegant building between c 1760-1800, with particular emphasis on the repertoire performed, the number and identities of the performers and the instruments purchased and used by members of the Society.


Constructing Culture: Guitar Makers in Spain

Kevin Dawe,
The Open University, U.K.

Guitar makers inhabit a unique world formed out of the intersection of material, social and cultural worlds. In this overlapping world they function not merely as constructors of cultural artefacts, but as moulders of social practices, and as agents in the negotiation of identity, status, power, and control. They shape aspects of musical practice and musical identity in a variety of cultural settings.

The personality and life experience of the owner is imprinted upon the guitar workshop and its layout which is also arranged to create an efficient workspace. The workspace is decorated with memorabilia, from personal photographs to signed portraits of famous guitar players, while the animated discussions, negotiations and banter between the maker and his customers bring the scene to life. It is the physical and social dynamic that emerges within this cultural spaces that is of central interest here, the aim being to reveal the forces and mechanisms that operate within this guitar world. Furthermore, the book sets out to provide an understanding of the social relations involved in the material practices of guitar construction.

This study documents (1) the way in which guitar makers go about their daily routine, their aims and objectives, how they talk about their work, as a craft, science and/or an art, and how they describe their raw and worked (`cooked') materials, (2) the way in which others relate to and talk about guitar makers and `makes' of guitar; (3) the life history of guitar makers which in most cases involves the inheritance of a guitar making tradition handed down through many generations of a guitar making family; (4) a study of the guitar as an icon within Spanish culture.

This paper is a summary of the work I have carried out to date, an overview of a rich ethnographic study of the role of musical artisans in Spanish culture and the relationship between guitar makers and the contemporary world of business, commerce, advertising, tourism, and the music industry. Changes in the material practices of guitar making brought about by these cultural forces, such as developments in the technologies that surround the manufacture of musical instruments, are studied in the light of a changing and growing literature in organology, ethnomusicology, the anthropology of music, and the ethnography of musical performance.


Reconstruction of an 1870 Morton Contrabassophone

Tom Dibley,
Deal, Kent, U.K.

Bought at the Nettlefold Collection sale in 1946 denuded of half its keys, this instrument also carries F. Besson's stamp an was probably made in collaboration with that firm. It differs in several details from the Morton in the Museum of the Royal College of Music, London, and from the Haseneier in the Bate Collection, Oxford. Recently I eaxmined a third contrabassophone. This enabled me to complete a restoration abandoned in 1946. I will describe the work done and the differences between the three other instruments, and show why I believe mine to be an experimental workshop prototype.


Another Vihuela da Mano in the Paris Musée de la Musique ?

Joël Dugot,
Mus&eactue;e de la Musique, Paris, France

The vihuela da mano played in Spain during the 16th century left a musical repertoire of a considerable importance. Its cultural impact is present even in literary and iconographical sources. In spite of this, surviving instruments are today so rare that the two instruments which can claim to be of the vihuela type (preserved respectively at the Jacquemart-André Museum in Paris and among the relics of Santa Mariana de Jesus (1618-1645) at the Nuestra Signora de Loreto Church in Quito, Ecuador) arouse numerous questions and active discussion.

In this context, it is interesting to point out the existence of an instrument which could be related to the vihuela type. It is was formerly in the collection of Geneviève Thibaud de Chambure and is now in the Mus&eactue;e de la Musique, Paris (E. 0748). This paper will describe the instrument and compare it with other surviving instruments and information, especially with the Belchior Dias instrument (Lisbon, 1581) preserved in the Museum of the Royal College of Music in London.


Viols and other Lumber

Michael Fleming,
The Open University, U.K.

Musical instruments were used outside London and court circles in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England, but which ones, and how common were they? A study of wills and probate inventories c 1570-1690 paints a surprising picture of which instruments were owned, by whom, and where. This is compared with a detailed study of inventories from Oxford in the same period, where there were some assemblages of instruments of considerable importance. These data include new identifications of at least one maker and one dealer in musical instruments, and cast a little light on the shadowy area of the supply and manufacture of musical instruments in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England. Another issue to be discussed will be the `chest' of viols; is this simply a collective noun, or does it refer to an item of furniture? The answer may help us to understand musical attitudes and practices.


Silkers in the London Piano Trade c 1840-1860

Pauline Holden,
Leicester, U.K.

This talk will discuss the choice of silk as opposed to other textiles and restoration of their work and its present-day problems.


Outstanding Trumpets, Trombones and Horns in the Musical Instrument Collection at the Historical Museum, Basel

Sabine Klaus,
Historisches Museum, Basel, Switzerland

The collection of musical instrument at the Historical Museum Basel includes about 900 brass musical instruments, most of them formerly belonging to the collection of Dr h.c. Wilhelm Bernoulli. This paper will present an overview of the history of this part of the Basel collection, and discuss outstanding trumpets, trombones and horns by region and by technical features.

The collection includes the two earliest extant baroque trumpets, made in Basel in 1578 by Jacob Steiger. As well as numerous instruments from the most famous center of baroque trumpet making, Nuremberg, the collection's holdings show also important developments outside of the main stream. Swiss brass instrument production of the early 19th century is represented by a number of instruments from the most important Swiss brass instrument makering dynasty, Hirsbrunner. This firm made early contributions in the development of valve systems, independently from Germany and Austria.


The Tunings of Sixteenth-Century Transverse Flutes

Lewis Jones,
London Guildhall University, U.K.

The tunings of playable sixteenth-century transverse flutes in Verona are compared. They may be grouped, not only by pitch standard, but also according to distinct patterns of scalar tuning, associated with particular schools of making. The tunings are examined in the light of contemporary fingering evidence, and are compared with known sisteenth-cnetury schemes of intonation and fixed-pitch temperaments. The static embodiment of the tunings in the instrument's form is considered (principally size and groupings of fingerholes, undercutting, and bore perturbation), and the conclusions drawn allow unplayable instruments (for example, those in Bologna) to be interpreted anew. It is proposed that the desire to perturb the bore readily and predictably was influential in the division of the essentially cylindrical flute into two, and in the later adoption of predominantly conoidal bore.


Good Bores, Frightful Bores, and the Recorder

Alec Loretto,
New Zealand

A Communication by Jan Bouterse in a recent FoMRHI Quarterly Bulletin discussed early recorders and raised a number of questions. One such dealt with a variety of established makers including Stanesby and Bressan producing treble [alto] recorders whose feet differ considerably in length. Why did they do this, he asked, implying that some makers came up with a good design and used it and no other. In reply I raised the possibilty that in addition to using their own reamed blanks they used some provided perhaps by other persons. Were there, I asked, craftsmen producing reamers who, to increase their incomes also sold reamed blanks. If so it is likely that the three pieces of wood these reamer makers supplied could be of different lengths from those prepared by the makers themselves. Jeremy Montagu thought this was quite a reasonable suggestion explaining that he had some years back prepared a paper suggesting that the outside shapes of recorders from different makers were almost identical suggesting that perhaps turned recorder sections were available. This would leave makers to cut the wind canal and labium, produce the block, drill the tone holes and then set about finishing the instrument. Montagu further pointed out that key makers sold their products to a number of instrument makers. Why not wood borers, and wood turners? Does a study of recorder bores assist in understanding part of this problem? How similar are the recorder bores produced in the same workshop and how similar are these to recorder bores produced in other workshops?


Two Elizabethan Virginals ?

Darryl Martin,
University of Edinburgh, U.K.

The majority of the well known English virginal music was written in the period from about 1570 - 1625, and includes many major works by composers such as William Byrd, John Bull, Orlando Gibbons, Giles Farnaby and Peter Philips. Modern editions of early sources such as the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book, My Lady Neville's Book, and Parthenia were published early in the revival of the Early Music movement making the repertoire available to musicians.

Although most of this music is early, the surviving dated English virginals range in date from 1638 to 1684. Later music sources survive indicating that the virginal was still a popular instrument, but this music is often neglected in favour of the earlier styles. The anomaly between the dates of the music and the surviving instruments is difficult to explain, and presents problems to the modern performer who attempts to play this music on the most suitable type of instrument.

Two undated instruments, both in the ownership of the Museums of Scotland, share a common workshop tradition and have a number of characteristics that are different from the dated examples. A thorough examination of both virginals suggest they are somewhat earlier than the other survivors.

The paper will discuss both of the instruments, and show the similarities and differences to the dated English virginals of the mid-seventeenth century. On the basis of the examinations, and the information to be presented, a hypothesis that the instruments are contemporary with the earlier virginal music from the Elizabethan period will be offered.


A Copy of Ferdinand Weber's Account Book

Jenny Nex and Lance Whitehead,
Royal College of Music, London, U.K.

Compared to Kirkman and Shudi, the number of surviving instruments from the workshop of the Dublin-based harpsichord and organ builder Ferdinand Weber (1715-1784) is relatively small. However, in addition to the seven extant harpsichords and spinets there exists a substantial amount of archive material. Probably the most significant document is a 1920s (?) copy of Weber's Account Book containing entries from the years 1750 to 1784. Although incomplete, this archive provides a fascinating insight into the activities of an eighteenth-centruy entrepreneur.


Latest News and Documents on the Neapolitan Harpsichord Makers

Francesco Nocerino,
Naples, Italy

In the last few years, the finding of ancient instruments and many archivical documents, reveals an evident role of Naples as an important centre of production of musical instruments during the period of the Spanish domination (16th-18th centuries).

Latest news and documents, some of which still unpublished, on the Neapolitan harpsichord makers (among which: Onofrio Guarracino, Alessandro Fabri, Giuseppe Pesce, Antonio Sabbatino and Gaetano Carotenuto), show a section of a daily activity of the harpsichord maker, about his instruments, his property status, and his life.

In particular, through the "bancali" ("fedi di credito" and "polizze"), an unusual form of payment in use to a great extent in the kingdom of Naples, registered in the policy copies ("giornali copiapolizze") of the "Archivio Storico del Banco di Napoli", it's possible to document the consistence of the phenomenon from the economic, organologic and historical point of view, providing at the same time numerous biographical information on the most protagonists of the Neapolitan harpsichord makers.


Italian Stringed Keyboard Instruments and Simple Geometry: Some New Developments at the Russell Collection of Early Keyboard Instruments in Edinburgh

Grant O'Brien,
University of Edinburgh, U.K.

The method developed by me and described in this year's Galpin Society Journal to determine the unit of measurement used to design and construct Italian stringed keyboard instruments has been applied to each of the instruments in the Russell Collection of Early Keyboard Instruments at the University of Edinburgh. This method uses the fact that the front corner angles in Italian virginals and the tail angle in Italian harpsichords were made using a simple geometrical construction. The application of this method to each of the Italian harpsichords and virginals in the Russell Collection is discussed and the results are outlined.


The Quantz flute: lecture-demonstration

Mary Oleskiewicz,
America's Shrine to Music Museum, University of South Dakota, U.S.A.


The Barytons of Joachim Tielke (or the Case of the Missing Body)

Terence Pamplin,
London Guildhall University

Evidence from Konigsberg in 1641 provides the first record of a baryton being played and of the birth of one of its most celebrated makers, Joachim Tielke. Of only seven barytons known from the seventeenth century two (possibly three) are by Tielke and these are the only ones made outside Austria, in Hamburg.

The identification and location of the barytons made by Tielke is the intended purpose of this paper. Gunter Hellwig in his report in the Galpin Society Journal Volume XVII of 1964 identified only one baryton by Tielke - that in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Also in London he identified a Viola da Gamba by Tielke in the collection of the Horniman Museum which later in his study, Joachim Tielke, published in 1980 he redesignated as a baryton and related it to the instrument previously owned by Andreas Lidl. This instrument with its assumed provenance will be examined to establish, as possible, which of Hellwig's classifications is appropriate. Recently the detached neck of a baryton by Tielke has been discovered and studied allowing the original unaltered baroque stringing disposition to be established for the first time. The other known baryton by Tielke (Victoria and Albert Museam) having been heavily altered to a classical (and later) disposition or in the case of the Horniman Museum instrument - having no identifiable features of a baryton. The fate and location of the related body of the Tielke baryton neck remains a mystery.


Seville: an Important Spanish Centre of Keyboard-Instrument Construction in the Mid-Eighteenth Century

Beryl Kenyon de Pascual,
Madrid, Spain

Research during the past two decades has shown that the earliest known Spanish piano was built in Seville by Francisco Perez Mirabal in 1745. His successor, Juan del Marmol, was also among the leading piano-makers of his time. A recently discovered harpsichord made in Seville, nameless but dated 1734, together with the remains of another unsigned instrument probably by the same maker, confirms certain characteristics of construction already observed in Perez Mirabal's instruments, suggesting the existence of a distinctive Sevillian school of construction. The Court's sojourn in Andalusia in 1729-1733 and the permanent presence of composers such as Jose and Manuel Blasco de Nebra and Joaquin Montero must have given an impulse to keyboard-instrument making and playing in the last two thirds of the eighteenth century.


Clarinet Transposition during the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries

Albert Rice,
Fiske Museum, Claremont Colleges, California, U.S.A.

During the past fifteen years, interest in performance practice has steadily increased as period orchestras perform works from the classical and romantic periods. This presentation discusses the classical and early romantic clarinets and the conventions of clarinet transposition in operas and other works written from the 1760s through the 1820s. These conventions have not been investigated in detail and are part of a chapter on performance practice issues in my forhtcoming book entitled The Classical Clarinet.

Four conventions regarding transposition in separate clarinet parts and in scores have been identified: 1)using a clef to indicate transposition; 2)transposing the part but not indicating the nominal pitch of the clarinet; 3)writing a direction for transposition in the part, and 4)not indicating a transposition but having a copyist transpose the part or the clarinettist transpose by sight. The results of this study provide a clearer picture of how the clarinettist performed classical and romantic literature and some of the conventions used for every transposing instrument.


An Unsigned German Harpsichord in the Historical Museum Basel

Malcolm Rose,
Lewes, U.K., and
Sabine Klaus,
Historisches Museum Basel

This harpsichord, which has a particular significance in the development of the Historisches Museum Basel, had long been thought to be of French origin. The paper begins with a brief outline of the instrument's known history, then goes on to show, with reference to six drawings and ten photographs, how the instrument can be ascribed to the southern German-speaking areas. Similarities are established with other instruments of this rare group, and differences noted. The way in which an 18th century maker altered the original compass is explained, and a table is given which shows calculated string lengths for the original scaling.


Acoustics of Dutch Wind Instruments from the Baroque Period

Rob van Acht,
Gemeentemuseum The Hague and Institute of Sonology at the Koninklijk Conservatorium, The Hague, The Netherlands

The physical construction and character of musical instruments from the baroque differ considerably from those in our time. Musical instruments are highly important as documents of the music of their period, as well as means of producing music, and are often also works of art in themselves. As they produce sound, the very few examples that are playable are very rich sources and subjects for the application of twentieth-century methods of acoustic analyses, such as spectrum analyses. Their sound and timbre can be examined and described, as can their their pitch (deviations) and the process of attack and decay. In many ways relatively new methods to describe, analyse and compare them in acoustical way are available now.

Recordings and analyses of several wind instruments in the collection of the Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, were made in collaboration with the Institute for Sonology at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in The Hague. Four recorders, eight oboes, five traversos, a clarinet, a bassoon and a Baroque racket were played and recorded from the following Dutch wind instrument makers: Richard Haka, Coenraad Rijkel, Thomas Boekhout, Abraham van Aardenberg, Jan Steenbergen, Engelbert Terton, Willem Beukers senior and junior, Albertus and Jan van Heerde, Hendrik and Frederik Richters, Philip Borkens, Robert and Willem Wijne and Jan Barend Beuker, all musical instrument makers of the 18th century.


Timing of Finger Movements in Musicians

E. Geoffrey Walsh,
University of Edinburgh, U.K.,
R. Ashford and P. Johnson,
University of Central England, Birmingham, U.K.

When two fingers are moved at the same time complex neurological activities need to be coupled together. We have used, special apparatus to ascertain the attainable accuracy, the person operating Morse keys or touch contacts. When both bend or straighten, the errors are quite small and are unlikely to impair skilled actions.

When however the fingers are moved in contrary directions greater imperfections are found but the values of 25 musicians at the Birmingham Sinfonia were not materially different from persons with no special training. Advanced players of the bagpipes, however, were outstandingly accurate.

A treble recorder and a transverse flute have been wired up so that measurements may be made when playing, studies have also been made with a cornet.

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Short Contributions


Who was the Greatest Clarionet Player in Europe ?

Tom Dibley,
Deal, Kent, U.K.

The exhibition The Historic Clarinet mounted by the Edinburgh University Collection of Historic Musical Instruments in 1986 included a reproduction of a print showing a corpulent clarinettist in late 18th century court uniform with the title ":I am the greatest clarionet player in - / Europe / Many years directer of musick to the G----r of Monoca":. This print was published in Dublin circa 1800-1810: there is a hand-coloured copy of it in the British Museum. I will suggest an identification of the subject and explain why this caricature had to be published in Dublin.


The French Trombone with Rear Bell

Bruno Kampmann,
Paris, France

"Over the shoulder" brasswinds have rarely been made by European makers. This paper describes the French trombone where the player has the choice to put the bell, either as usual (in front), or in the `over the shoulder' position. This type of instrument is described in the catalogues of two makers:
- Husson et Buthod (1856)
- Gautrot (1867)
The slide is standard, but the bell has an additional straight tube soldered longitudinally. The slide and bell are joined either with a U-shaped bow (rear position), or by a looped crook (front position).

Considering the few surviving instruments, this device would seem to have appeared rather early in the 19th century (before 1834), and disappeared quickly, perhaps before 1870. The nine surviving instruments known to the author are:


Instruments of the Brass Septets of Finland

Arnold Myers,
University of Edinburgh, U.K.

Like Britain, Finland has a long history of all-brass bands, with a lively amateur tradition running from the 19th century to the present day. It was fostered by the Russian Csar Alexander III who preferred all-brass military bands, and even played the baritone himself. However, in Finland, the emphasis seems to have been on music making and providing dance music and entertainment for occasions rather than contesting.

The instrumentation quickly standardised on a septet consisting of: Eb soprano cornet (sometimes replaced by a clarinet), two Bb cornets, Eb tenor horn, Bb baritone, euphonium, Eb bass, and percussion ad lib. The cornets were sometimes the Swedish `kornett', more akin to a flugel horn. Septets started in the 1870s and grew rapidly in the 1880s, but their popularity has waned since the 1920s. There is, however, an unbroken tradition both in Finland and amongst Finnish immigrants to the U.S.A. As well as a repertoire of dance music and vocal music arrangements, there is also a substantial body of original music, including some by Sibelius and Järnefelt.

This talk gives a brief account of the instruments adopted and introduces a performance of some of the original repertoire.


Fresh Information on the Spanish Dulcian in the Late 18th and Early 19th Centuries

Beryl Kenyon de Pascual,
Madrid, Spain

A manuscript collection of exercises and pieces for the dulcian has come to light in Spain. They were copied by a Spanish dulcian-playing priest and can be dated between 1802 and 1814. Two more 5-key jointed dulcians are now known to exist: one in three pieces, the other in four.



Susan Thompson,
Yale University, New Haven, U.S.A.

Both Langwill and Waterhouse list a maker by the name of C.V. HALLUM; and both cite a one-keyed flute and three-keyed oboe by this maker. Neither lists a maker by the name of HALLUW, yet we have an instrument so stamped. It is an ivory, one-keyed flute with two "corps de rechange" made from narwhal. Like the ivory flute by HALLUM listed in Langwill (6th ed, p. 71), the HALLUW ivory flute has one key and "four small circles" (the maker's mark). I am assuming our HALLUW to be Langwill's HALLUM...


Claret's Bajón

William Waterhouse,
London, U.K.

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Further information from:

Arnold Myers,
Collection of Historic Musical Instruments,
University of Edinburgh,
Reid Hall,
Bristo Square,

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This page updated: 16.7.99; re-published 14.2.13